What is a Japanese Ham Sandwich?

You hear this phrase in every Bikram Yoga class you take, but what the heck does making your body and legs look like a “Japanese ham sandwich” really mean? Find out now and make the third part of Half-Moon Pose your main squeeze!

Q: What’s a “Japanese ham sandwich,” and what does it have to do with Bikram Yoga? 


In the third part of Half-Moon With Hands to Feet Pose (Ardha-Chandrasana), your goal is to press your upper body and thighs as close together as possible, with your face on your legs below your knees and your arms wrapped around the backs of your legs. As such, thinking of making yourself into a Japanese ham sandwich – just meat and bread “smushed” together; no onions, lettuce, pickles or tomatoes – can help you visualize what your upper body and legs should look like in this posture.

Interestingly, Japan was where Bikram Choudhury first started teaching yoga. Sources say he found the climate there so chilly during winter, he brought space heaters into his classes for warmth. The hot temperatures, he found, made it much easier for students to lock their knees and touch their palms to the floor. Bikram Yoga was born.

What the hell is a Japanese Ham Sandwich?
She clearly doesn’t know because this is definitely not a Japanese ham sandwich!


Benefits of Half-Moon Pose

  • Strengthens every muscle in the body’s core, especially in the abdomen.
  • Increases the flexibility of the spine, promotes proper kidney function and helps cure enlargement of the liver and spleen.
  • Firms and trims the waistline, hips, abdomen, butt and thighs.

We’re taking questions from students! If you have a question about Bikram Yoga that you’d like us to answer, just leave a comment below this post or on our Facebook Page. You can also email us or ask your question on Twitter!

Need clarification on any other cryptic Bikram Yoga terms right now? Leave your question below and we’ll do our best to answer it!

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